Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dock Evolution Mail to notification area in Ubuntu

If you are using Evolution for your email needs then you must be aware that Evolution doesn't dock. So either you leave it open, in which case it will be continuously cluttering you window list, or you just close it. But then you wont get new mail notifications. But there is a third option, although Evolution doesn't dock itself, you can use another application called alltray to dock it. alltray can be used to dock any open window to notification area. Its really simple to install and use.
you can install it using
sudo apt-get install alltray
after installing just run alltray from command line or Alt-F2 using command
a dialog will appear asking you to select window that you want to dock. it will also change you cursor. when you select a window it will be immediately docked to notification area.If you dont like this approach and want an application to have notification icon as soon as it starts then you can launch an application with alltray. So for Evolution you can write following command:
alltray evolution
this will start evolution and immediately dock it to notification area.
if you want application to show when it starts then you can use --show option for alltray
alltray --show evolution
There are other alltray options that you may want to use e.g. --sticky for showing application on all desktops, --no-alltray to stop alltray from adding alltray to applications title and etc. use alltray -h for details of available options. You can also change edit the menu entry for evolution in Applications->internet to this command so that whenever you launch evolution it has dock i con

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Converting .rpm packages to .deb for Ubuntu

If you want to install a package on Ubuntu, but can only find .rpm for it and no .deb then you can use Alien to convert that rpm into a .deb package.
Alien is a computer program that converts between different Linux package formats. It supports conversion between Linux Standard Base, RPM, deb, Stampede (.slp), Solaris (.pkg) and Slackware (.tgz) packages. It is also capable of automatically installing the generated packages, and can try to convert the installation scripts included in the archive as well. The latter feature should be used with caution since Linux distributions may vary significantly from one another, and using install scripts automatically converted from an alien format may break the system.
Alien can be installed from universe repository. You will need to enable it first. After enabling universe repo do:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install alien
This will install alien. After installing alien you can convert rpm to .deb using command
sudo alien -k package-name.rpm
This will generate a new file named package-name.deb. The -k option is used to keep the version number, otherwise alien will add a 1 to it. Using --scripts option will also include scripts from rpm into .deb.
sudo alien -k --scripts package-name.rpm